Is this the new streaming Android Music player?
There are a number of Android pieces waiting to fall into place and this leaked, but working, Music app seems to fit perfectly into the middle of that puzzle.
The app has the look and feel of the Honeycomb music player, using the same icon and essentially offering the same New and Recent view that lets you flick through your album art, a little like Apple’s Cover Flow.
Let’s be honest, the stock Android music player is pretty bland, really only offering up listings and playback, and Music 3.0 doesn’t extend too much further than that. You can sort and search music by the normal categories and you get the Now Playing bar at the bottom of most list-based pages, or an icon in the top right-hand corner in the New and Recent view.
When a song is playing you get a little animated meter on the right-hand side, a drop-down menu offering options, like adding to a playlist.
But the interesting thing here is the Settings menu. This will let you add a streamed music account and offers a range of settings to control how streamed music is handled. At the moment you click on the option to add an account and head through to a blank screen and there doesn’t seem to be any way to populate this section of the app.
The other options offer up cache settings, Wi-Fi only settings and a download queue. The Help option at the bottom of the page doesn’t offer up and suggestions, just taking you to a webpage that currently doesn’t exist.
Assuming this is a legitimate leak - rather than just an enthusiastic fan’s recreation of the Honeycomb app on Gingerbread - it seems to fit into other nuggets of information we’ve heard about Google addressing Music in the future.
It's not certain whether the option to select an account means you'll be able to choose from different streaming music services, or if it just lets you select the Google account to access music you have stored with Google, rather like the Amazon Cloud service.
Moving the music player for phones closer to the tablet version also fits in with Google ascertaining that the two strands of Android would come together. This certainly looks to bring a uniformity to the mobile operating system, and we guess the option would roll out to Honeycomb in an update.
The app is unstable at the moment, so we don’t recommend you use it as your main player - we installed in on the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc without any problems, but it is a little delicate and will crash if you try to access certain menus whilst playing music - an option to access “sound effects” crashed the player every time we tried to take a look.
Music v3 brings with it a basic playback widget, integration into your notification bar (but doesn’t offer any playback controls here) and doesn’t offer you any lock screen playback either.